Football: Magpies survive the threat of Ginola

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 1

THIS YEAR'S FA Cup may be lacking the holders, but the two clubs with 14 wins between them are still in the draw for the fourth round. A hectic and full-blooded tie at White Hart Lane, the sixth meeting between these opponents in the tournament's history, ended in a fair share, Steffen Iversen's 57th-minute goal for Tottenham neutralised by Gary Speed's equaliser 11 minutes from time.

The winners of Wednesday week's replay will go on to face either Sheffield United or Rushden & Diamonds at home. The prospect of a meeting between either of these Cup giants and the Vauxhall Conference side holds out a promise of the sort of magic that has characterised the competition throughout the century.

The Football Association may have done its best, in as many ways as they can think of, to diminish the stature of their showpiece, but the events on this pitch and others around the country at the weekend showed that the Cup can survive the most cack-handed administration so long as the players retain their belief in its importance.

Of the two managers, George Graham was the only one disappointed with yesterday's result. Tottenham comprehensively bossed the first half, and their supremacy should have produced more goals, even though all their chances came from a single source. David Ginola, the game's individual star, revelled in the opportunity to inflict further damage on his old club.

Roaming on either side of Steffen Iversen, he was creating havoc as early as the seventh minute, when he picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and clipped a shot which Steve Harper tipped over the bar.

Bobby Robson had deputed Laurent Charvet to shadow Ginola, and the confrontation between the shaven-headed citizen and the laughing chevalier looked like a replay of the French Revolution in miniature. After a quarter of an hour Ginola slid a wonderful ball inside Alessandro Pistone to Ruel Fox, whose cross brought a wonderful clearance from Warren Barton at the far post.

The partnership of Alan Shearer and Duncan Ferguson rarely suggested the existence of a genuine entente between the two strikers, although Ferguson should have given Newcastle the lead a minute into the second half when he found space between Sol Campbell and Luke Young on the edge of the six-yard box but could only meet Robert Lee's long cross with a header which hit the ground and bounced over the bar.

"Ferguson said he was unsighted when the ball came over Campbell," Robson said. "He normally scores from those with his eyes closed." In the event, that might have been a better option for the big Scot.

Ten minutes later, Ginola's efforts paid off. Taking Luke Young's throw- in on the right, he turned to face Charvet, shifted his weight to make a yard of space, and whipped in a right-footed cross which Iversen met at the near post with a header that left Harper helpless.

Robson's decision to take off a forward, Ferguson, and a defender, the Portuguese international Helder, and replace them with two attackers after 64 minutes started to change the balance of play. Stephen Glass and Kevin Gallacher began to make inroads, and when they were joined by Temuri Ketsbaia, replacing the busy Keiron Dyer, the Spurs defence began to rock.

It was no surprise when, after 78 minutes, Speed made a late run to meet Glass's inswinging corner from the right after 78 minutes.

Asked if his side had been the victim of complacency, Graham gave a disbelieving laugh. "Us, complacent? I don't think so," he said.

"Considering the number of changes we had to make through suspensions and injuries, I thought we played some nice football. I was delighted with the performance, but not the result. We dominated the first half, but we've got to learn to finish teams off."

Relieved at having avoided ejection from two cup competitions within a few days, Robson was pleased by the way his players had recovered from their unstinting but unavailing efforts against Roma in the Uefa Cup last Thursday. "We pulled this one out of the fire," he said. "Steve Harper made two miraculous saves in the first half. They kept us in the game. And Ginola did what he will always do. You're not going to stop him getting in two or three crosses. But I said to Laurent Charvet before the start, `Ginola can be the man of the match, or you can be'. And he did a stout job for us."

A good, honest FA Cup tie, then, firmly in the best tradition. But someone, somewhere should be worried by the fact that, for a fixture of such historical resonance and topical significance, there were 4,000 empty seats.

Goals: Iversen (57) 1-0; Speed (77) 1-1.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-1-3-2): Walker; Young, Perry, Campbell, Edinburgh (Vega, 81); Freund; Fox, Nielsen, Dominguez (Armstrong, 81); Ginola, Iversen. Substitutes not used: Clemence, Glove, Baardsen (gk).

Newcastle United (1-4-2-1-2): Harper; Dabizas; Barton, Charvet, Helder, Pistone; Lee, Speed; Dyer (Ketsbaia, 76); Shearer, Ferguson (Gallacher, 64). Substitutes not used: Glass, Hughes, Given (gk).

Referee: G Poll (Tring).

Bookings: Tottenham: Nielsen, Freund. Newcastle: Helder.

Man of the match: Ginola.

Attendance: 33,116.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?